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9 Reasons to Hire a Professional Web Designer

Hire a Professional Web DesignerFor any small to medium-sized business today, your web presence is essential in maintaining your current client base and reaching new customers. This means a website with a modern design and great functionality. People have much higher standards when browsing the internet than they did fifteen years ago. There are now a number of reasons why internet users decide to leave a website. You can't afford to have this happen. An easy solution is to hire a web designer who has the experience and is knowledgeable with regard to current web trends. Yet many business owners still try to build a website themselves or rely on an employee to do it. If you're still on the fence about it, let's look at nine reasons you should hire a professional to do the job.

1. Knowledge and Experience

When you hire a web designer, you're working with someone who does that for a living. You're paying for their knowledge and experience in the design business. Web trends come and go rapidly and a professional's job is to keep up with those trends. If you try to do it yourself, you'll be playing a guessing game the entire time. Instead, leave the job up to a professional designer and you'll wash your hands of a lot of stress. Like you, a web developer is doing what they do best. Hiring them will allow you to do the same with your own business.

2. The Right Tools

A quality website has many moving parts. A web designer works with all the right tools and has access to additional resources in order to make all these parts work together. If you were to try to get all these resources, it would cost a fortune. Plus, these aren't programs that you just open and start working on. They require know-how. When a web designer needs help with other aspects of the site like SEO or content, they work with experts in those fields. Whether in-house or outsourced, a professional has the connections to get everything done right.

3. Saves Time and Money

Time and money - two critically important recourses for a small business. You may think that by trying to build a website yourself, you're saving money. Unfortunately, you'll be making a costly mistake and wasting tons of time. When you hire a web designer, they have a refined process in place that allows them to get the job done quickly and correctly. You'll also be surprised at how much you end up saving in the long run. Spending a little up-front to get it done means you'll benefit from higher conversion rates down the road.

4. Better User Experience

An experienced web designer knows what needs to be done to make your site as functional as possible for the user. This means fast load times, logical navigation and intuitive design, amongst many other things. All these elements help keep visitors on your site and provide them with a quality user experience. This is a reflection of your business. If a user has a good experience once, they're likely to come back again and again.

5. Optimized for Search

Search engine optimization is one of the most important elements of a successful web presence. It's also a very complicated and mysterious process. The way your website ranks in search engines has a lot to do with how well it's built. As a business owner, you already know how important this is. Aside from content and keyword optimization, there are a number of SEO guidelines a developer has to follow to ensure a site performs well in search engines. A professional knows the importance of this and ensures that every site gets optimized for search effectively.

6. A More Attractive Website

If you try to build a site yourself, you'll be very limited as far as how good the end result looks. Even when using a DIY development service, you have limited design options. On the other hand, if you hire a designer, you have the ability to achieve the exact design your business needs. This is important when trying to stand out from the competition. Having a professionally designed site also shows potential customers that you're a stable and credible business that understands the necessity of a good site.

7. You Need Responsive Design

As a business, you can't afford for your website to lack mobile functionality. Mobile search is now more prominent than desktop. This means your site must be functional on all smartphones and tablets. Mobile optimization is referred to as responsive design. If you decide to try to build a website on your own, you likely won't be able to achieve this. You'll end up spending money to have it fixed for mobile use. Professional web designers are well aware of the importance of responsive design and will create your site with quality mobile functionality in mind.

8. Credibility

As we mentioned earlier, people now have high web standards. When someone is searching the web and comes to a site that's outdated or has poor functionality, the business loses credibility. When you hire a web designer to give your site a professional look, you're able to compete with larger companies. A great web design can actually make a very small company seem huge. This reinforces credibility and establishes trust in potential customers.

9. Effectively Deliver Your Brand

Not only do professional designers know how to build a site, they know how to effectively market your business. Things like font sizes, imagery and a good call to action are implemented when you use a professional designer. They know how to convert web traffic into customers and get your brand in front of the right eyes.

Hire a Web Designer Today

Online competition is fast-paced. If you need a quality web presence for your business, you need to get started right away. Instead of trying to build a site yourself, turn to a professional designer to put their experience to work for you. WebHornet provides web development and SEO services in Nebraska. Contact us today to learn more.

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7 Reasons Why You Need a Mobile Optimized Website

Mobile Optimized WebsiteReady to officially take on the mobile age? When it comes to digital marketing, it's key to cater to mobile users. With people spending an average of 3.25 hours a day on a mobile device such as a tablet or cell phone, your largest audience is your mobile audience. In order to take advantage of your customer potential, it's important to implement a solid mobile marketing strategy. This includes optimizing your website for mobile use. Read on to learn why a mobile optimized website is absolutely critical to your marketing success.

1. Mobile Optimization Lowers Bounce Rates

Every business owner hates bouncers. And we're not talking about the guys wearing sunglasses standing outside of nightclubs. Your bounce rate is essentially the amount of people who navigate to your site and then immediately leave. A high bounce rate can come about for a variety of reasons, including slow loading speeds, poorly formatted homepages, and disinterest. But bounce rates can also skyrocket if your site is not optimized for mobile use. Think about the last time you tapped a link to a website that wasn't configured to fit your mobile screen. Did you have the patience to linger? Probably not. A mobile optimized website means one that thinks about the user and maximizes visitor experience. It will keep users on your site longer because it frees up navigation. It presents content that adapts to whatever screen accesses it. A reduced bounce rate means higher potential for conversions.

2. People Will Keep Using Mobile Devices

The data says it all: mobile isn't just a passing fad. People are going to keep using mobile devices to access social media, communicate with friends and family, and access information. What's more, mobile users aren't just going to linger longer on social media sites. With every passing year and advance in technology, it's becoming more and more possible to do anything through a mobile device. Users manage finances, order food, coordinate their wardrobes, and educate themselves through mobile devices. And this is just the beginning. A mobile optimized website means keeping pace with a growing customer base. And keeping pace means keeping competitive.

3. It Works With Local SEO

A mobile optimized website goes hand in hand with local optimization. Local search engine optimization (SEO) means optimizing content on your website so that it can appear in local searches. A locally optimized site means that people searching for "dog walkers in Naples Florida" will be more likely to find your site in search listings. Local searches are conducted more on mobile devices than desktops. This is because local searches mean immediate and local needs. Maybe you're out with friends and you want to see if there's live music near you. Perhaps on your commute, you want to see if that bagel place is open for lunch. The local searches you perform are on the go. A mobile optimized website works in tandem with a local SEO strategy, helping you dominate search listings and retain the visitors you get through local searches.

4. Mobile Users Pay Attention To Different Things

Think about how you use your mobile devices throughout a typical day. How do you engage with these devices versus your desktop? Typically, mobile users will be performing local searches, browsing social media, or accessing quick snippets of information. They are less likely to spend hours on end staring at the same device (unless reading an e-book or news article). In this sense, mobile users have shorter attention spans and will be attracted to video content, infographics, and other accessible visuals. A mobile optimized website is one that keeps this in mind and presents visual and relevant content. With visual and relevant content, you'll be able to cater to shorter attention spans and access users across multiple channels.

5. A Mobile Optimized Website Means More Conversions

A website that adapts to the user's screen and experience is much more likely to keep that customer online than one that isn't optimized for mobile use. When you optimize your site for mobile use, your website becomes easy to navigate. Mobile users will be able to clearly identify a purchase or checkout button. They will be able to buy a product or sign up for a newsletter in seconds. You will likely lose leads if the opposite is the case. A mobile optimized website means more conversions and increased profit margins.

6. Get Google Authority

It's important to be clear on Google's mobile-friendly website guidelines before you implement SEO and other optimization strategies. But in general, Google prefers sites that are optimized for mobile devices. If your site isn't configured for mobile use, it's going to dip in ranking. This means that all of that hard work you've put into an SEO strategy will go down the drain. You'll get Google authority when you optimize your website for mobile use and as a result, maximize your SEO efforts. This can lead to higher traffic and higher conversions.

7. Boost Content Marketing

Crafting a digital platform with mobile users in mind involves paying particular attention to content. Mobile users require effective and concise content, with an emphasis on visuals. When you configure your website for mobile use, you automatically hone your content. You'll write relevant and direct content that is useful to every user. You'll see this carry across your content marketing campaigns on social media as well. Mobile optimization will enable your content marketers to breathe easy and really hone what you're presenting to the digital world. This can also boost SEO and lead to higher Google authority.

Why You Need a Mobile Optimized Website

We're approaching the mobile age and it's important to keep pace with this as a business. A mobile optimized website is a competitive one. Configuring your site for mobile use will boost your marketing strategies, specifically your SEO and content campaigns. As a result, you'll end up with more conversions than previously, lower bounce rates, and higher Google authority. At the end of the day, mobile optimization keeps your customer happy--which should be the ultimate aim. At WebHornet, we love everything about mobile optimization and can ensure that your website is working hard for your business. Let us help you improve your search ranking and more. Reach out to us today to ensure your mobile-friendly site!

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10 Local SEO Tips for Omaha Business Owners

How do you promote your local business? Do you attend meetings and events? What about your online presence? Nowadays, going digital is a must. Regardless of your type of business, it's essential to connect with prospects online. This will increase brand awareness and help you reach a wider audience. About half of people who conduct local Local SEO Tips Omahasearches on their smartphones visit a store within 24 hours. The same goes for 34 percent who search on their tablets or computers. Contrary to popular belief, setting up a website isn't enough to drive sales. You must grow and promote your site to attract customers. Think of it as an online version of your business. Eager to learn more? Check out these local SEO tips for Omaha business owners:

List Your Business on Google Maps

Have you noticed that every time you search for a local business online, you get several listings with contact information? For instance, if you type "Omaha hairdresser" in Google, the first results will include local beauty salons. You can see their exact location, opening hours, and phone numbers. Before even setting up a website, add your business listing to Google. All you need to do is to provide a few details about your company. This way, it will appear in Google Search, Google Maps, and other Google properties.

Be Consistent Across All Social Platforms

Keep your brand consistent across all social platforms. Use the same business name and contact information on Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other networks. This will attract search engine love and strengthen your brand. Better yet, use similar colors and layouts across all platforms. Make your image stand out in customers' minds. Apply the same strategy to your content. Whenever you're sharing posts on Facebook or sending out newsletters, use a similar tone.

Harness the Power of Local Directories

Next, list your business on Yellow Pages, Bing, Yelp, Angie's List, and more. Local directories and review sites can drive massive traffic to your site. On top of that, they boost your online exposure and SEO efforts. Most local directories allow customers to leave feedback. Clients who are pleased with your services are more likely to write positive reviews. This will attract more prospects and grow your business.

Get Links from Local Businesses

Link building is an integral of search engine optimization. Quality backlinks can boost your rankings in search results and increase traffic. This leads to more sales and higher conversion rates. Search for non-competing local businesses and try to get relevant links. For instance, you can join local business groups, such as the Rotary Club. Once you become a member, they will link back to your site. Always choose quality over quantity. It's better to have 10 relevant backlinks from trusted sources than 100 links from suspicious websites. This is one of the most important local SEO tips you'll ever get.

Get Local Coverage

Contact magazines and newspapers in your area. Offer to publish content related to your Omaha business. For example, if you're offering catering services, write a post on how to plan a wedding without breaking the wallet. Build relationships with journalists and send out press releases. Every time your articles go live, you'll get a link back to your site or blog.

Do Keyword Research

Keyword research can make or break your marketing efforts. When customers search for local products and services, they use specific terms. For instance, someone looking for laptops in Omaha will use "Omaha laptops" or "Omaha laptop store" in search queries. Optimize your website for the targeted keywords. Google's Keyword Planner can help with that. This tool is free and easy-to-use, so don't ignore it. Once you gather the most relevant keywords, include them in your content, page URLs, and metadata. Use them in social media posts and press releases too.

Optimize Your Social Media Pages

The search engines use social media signals as a ranking factor. The more popular your social media pages are, the more traffic and links you'll get to your site. Focus on building a strong online presence. Connect with local clients on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Engage in conversations with other business owners too. Make sure your social pages include a compelling description of your brand and values. Include relevant keywords and contact information. Share industry-related news, exciting factors, and blog posts.

Create Quality Content

Still searching for local SEO tips? In this case, take the time to write quality content. Add a blog to your site and update it several times a week. Don't post content just for the sake of writing something. Be relevant and provide value to your audience. Address any concerns they may have. Use different types of content other than text. Images, videos, and infographics can improve your SEO. On top of that, they're more likely to go viral and drive traffic.

Build Internal Links

Internal links and good SEO go hand in hand. A strong internal linking structure can boost your rankings and improve website navigation. This will result in a better user experience. When you're linking from one page on your site to a different page on the same domain, you get an internal link. This helps spread ranking power and allows users to find the information they're searching for more easily.

Use Schema Markup

When it comes to local SEO tips, using schema markup is a must. Basically, you need to add a specific code to your HTML to help the search bots understand and index your content. This leads to higher rankings and increased traffic Schema markup usually provides more information about a business, its address, and its services. Depending on your skills, you can either insert the code yourself or hire an SEO expert.

Get the Best Local SEO Tips from Pros

Local search engine optimization can take your business to the next level. When done right, it leads to massive traffic and brand exposure. This results in more customers and sales. For the best local SEO tips, check out our blog. We provide everything you need to grow your online business and reach customers who are ready to buy!

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Adding Custom Fonts to Your Website

For years, the font rules of websites have been simple. Website developers advised clients to only use web safe fonts, giving your website a generic look. Fonts such as Arial, Courier, Times New Roman, or Verdana were common on most every website. As technology changes, web fonts are no exception. You can add a custom font to your website as your brand identity. This creates an experience for visitors coming to your website.  A font can create a tone similar to a voice, it shows your visitors who is behind the website and what you are about.

Custom fonts allow you to utilize different fonts in your website design. Google offers a great variety that can be used for free. The fonts are hosted on web-based servers and load into a computer’s web browser. You may be asking, "What does this exactly mean?" Visitors that come to your website do not need to have the font installed on their computer! Google has that taken care of. 

There can be downfalls to using custom fonts, just like with any product. It can take a long time for a website to load if the font serving site is slow. If visitors are having to wait too long to see products or services that your company has to offer, they will just move on to the next site. If you can purchase the font file and you want to avoid these types of issues, custom fonts can also be installed within your website file system and your developer can write CSS to call upon these custom fonts.  Remember to speak with the WebHornet Website Support team for recommendations on your favorite fonts.

Along with adding custom fonts, you also have the option of adding vector icons to your site that can easily be customized! Finding the perfect set of icon graphics takes time that most of us simply don't have, not to mention they can be costly. You may invest in icon graphics and discover that after a few months you are looking for something new. Vector icons have made it simple - change color, size and drop shadows in a matter of seconds. New icons are always being added!

If you are looking to add custom fonts or vector icons to your website, contact the WebHornet Support team today!

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